New Level of Depravity-Homeless Men Paid $ and Booze to Pretend they were Vets Displaced by Migrants
Heather Bell-Meyer (on left) and Sharon Toney-Finch, on right
Seven homeless men have come forward to say they were part of a group of men recruited at a Poughkeepsie homeless shelter to act as veterans that had been displaced from a Newburgh hotel in order for a non-profit organization to perpetrate a fraud on the public.
The men told Mid-Hudson News on Thursday night that they were part of a group of 15 men that were supposed to PRETEND they were veterans that had been kicked out of the Crossroads Hotel in the Town of Newburgh last Friday, in advance of the arrival of migrants brought up from New York City. The story of displaced veterans received national attention when Assemblyman Brian Maher stepped in to denounce the hotel’s actions. The foundation and its director, Sharon Toney-Finch, appear to have fabricated the entire story, causing Maher to admit yesterday that he had been duped by Finch and her lies.
“When Sharon and sevceral veterans explained to me their situation, I believed them at their word,” Maher said Friday. “I had absolutely no knowledge of any wrongdoing and believed that their stories were real until a phone conversation with Sharon yesterday afternoon when she explained to me that this did not happen the way she purported it to.”
Finch’s story began to unravel last Monday after Mid-Hudson News began looking into the plight of the displaced veterans. An investigation by Mid-Hudson News uncovered a series of lies that led to the belief that the veterans Finch claimed were displaced, did not even exist.
On Thursday night he met with a group of seven men at a homeless shelter. The men said that on Wednesday, two people came into the shelter saying they had work and needed 15 men between the ages of 40 and 60, to take a trip to meet with an elected official for a discussion on homelessness. They were each promised $200 along with food and alcohol. They were familiar with one of the recruiters, Diana, claiming she had previously stayed at the shelter.
Source: Mid-Hudson News